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noxious to Divine Vengeance, but let us not forget, that Infidelity does So too: And the Event must be, in Both cases, the fame, that if thou hafl rejeBed the Word of the Lord, the Lord hath also rejeBed thee. Heinous is the Sin of Envy, Extortion, Wrath, Hatred, Reviling; Heinous every Sin committed against our Brethren: But surely More Heinous must that Sin be, which is pointed directly against God, and is an Immediate violation of His honour. Let all Those consider this, who dare to Impugn the Veracity of God, and withhold their Assent from what He hath Declared; * for he that bekeveth not God, hath made him a liar.
Those who will not yield their Assent to any other Truth, but what they can, by the power of Reasons, form Full notions of, and entirely Account for, are Absolutely Destitute of Faith, and do not Believe at all; for the evidence of Faith is altogether Different from that evidence,
* 1 John. v. 10. t Vide S. Basil. M. adv.
Eunom. lib. ii. vol. ii. pp. 64, 65. Edit. Pans. & Homil. in Ps. 115. vol. i. pp. 313, 314.
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which ariseth from the Nature of Things: In One case we are convinced of a Truth, and yield our Assent to it, because the Nature and Reasons of That truth, are evident to our Apprehensions concerning it: In the Other, we a^e Persuaded of a Truth, not because our Apprehensions and manner ofThinking can entirely reach the Nature and Reasons of it, but because it is supported by a Testimony, which we can Depend on. Whosoever therefore wants This kind of Persuasion, is Void of Faith. And if it is not at all implied in Faith, as one of its Conditions, that we should Apprehend the Nature', and Manner, and Reasons of Things offer'd to our Belief, how comes the Want of such Apprehensions to be urged in Vindication of Unbelievers? It must be a very Perverse, or, a very Weak way of Reasoning, when we fail of any Duty, to conclude our selves Excusable, because we are under a certain Incapacity, wherein that Duty is not at all concerned.
Such Men as Generally indulge themselves a liberty of arguing at this rate,'
in favour of their Infidelity, concerning Mysteries Revealed, do yet profess to believe the Existence of God, notwithstanding that His Nature and Attributes do exceed the Measure of their Apprehension, and are confessedly Unaccountable. Those mighty Advocates ofHuman Reason, in Opposition to Divine Faith, will not easily clear themselves of Inconsistency, whilst one and the fame Plea, which Equally affects Two different cases, is vehemently Urged by them in one case, and entirely Disavowed' in the Other. The want of clear Apprehensions, concerning the Nature of Mysterious Truths, can be no more an Impediment to the Belief of Those Truths, than the want of such Apprehensions, concerning God, is an Impediment to the -Belief of a God. Let not Unbelievers therefore any longer Attempt to Shelter themselves under . their Incapacity of apprehending, and Accounting for, the Nature of Divine Truths proposed to them; for such ah Apprehension is quite out of the Question, and Foreign to the purposes of . Faith.
But, though the Nature and Reasons of the Things to be believed do not fall within our Compass of Apprehending, and Therefore 'tis not Demanded, or Expected, that we should Apprehend them; yet the Reasons and Obligations of Belief it self are Obvious, and Easy to be Understood. 'Tis implied in our Natural notions of God's Perfection, that he cannot lye; and'tis evident unto, Natural Reason, that Miracles and Prediction are an Abundant proof, that the Holy Scriptures are the Word of God: Infidelity therefore, in the Ultimate Resolution of it, is at once a Violation of God's Honour j and our own Reason. And hence it follows, that all those Unbelievers are under a Plain and Dangerous mistake, who attempt to Skreen themselves from Blame and Danger, under a notion, that they are not Capable of Believing; that all men cannot Think alike; and that 'tis no more in their Power, to be of one Judgment and Opinion, than of one Size and Complexion.
Thus do they Delude themselves, and confirm one another in the Delusion,
not not considering, That God does as plainly Require the Submission of our Understandings, as of our "Wills and AffeBions, to the Word of Truth: That 'tis not incumbent upon us, to determine the Nature of any Mystery; for then the State of it must needs rife Differently upon Several mens minds, from their Different and Imperfect ways of Thinking: That we are not to Debate, whether the Laws of Faith are Justly Assigned by God, and whether the Things which he Commands us to Believe are Proper for us to Believe; for whosoever takes upon him to do this, Judgeth the Law, but if thou 'Judge the Law, thou art not a Doer of the Law, but a Judge: That 'tis not our Business, to give in our Opinions, concerning the Objects of Faith, but our Assent unto them,: That to declare it Inconsistent with our Faculties, to Believe, is, to offer unto the All-seeing God, a Groundless and Audacious Pretence: That God, who Revealed the Scriptures, needed not, that any should testify of man; for he knew what was in man: That he who bestow'd our Faculties upon us, and